Spotlight & Giveaway: The Summer Place by Pamela Hearon

Posted November 9th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight / 91 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome romance author Pamela Hearon to HJ!

Hi Pamela, welcome to HJ!

What would you say are the 5 best things about being a writer?


1. Being able to work whenever I want, wherever I am.
2. Getting to hang out with people with amazing imaginations
3. Knowing that after I’m gone, a part of me that my grandkids and their grandkids can hold will still remain
4. Doing what I’ve always wanted to do and getting paid for it
5. Giving even the most unlikely couples their happy ending

Let’s talk about your newest release: THE SUMMER PLACE

If you had to summarize the book for the readers here

A former Marine and a free-spirited young woman vie for control of the summer camp where they work and find themselves on opposites sides of most every matter. As the camp session progresses, everything heats up including the campfires, the arguments, and the attraction. But all isn’t fun and games. As Summer and Rick come to realize they’re in the same camp when it comes to the kids, the real enemy finds a hiding place in the woods beyond .

Please tell us about the characters in your book?

TSPSummer Delaney is a free spirit or a wild child, depending on the perspective she’s observed from. In the past, she has been flighty and irresponsible and has cost her parents plenty. But those days are behind her now. She has started her own business, Fairy Princess Parties, where she teaches empowerment skills and healthy nutrition to little girls. Summer’s dream is to save the camp her parents invested their retirement savings into and pay back everything she owes them.
Rick Warren is a former Marine, a Southern gentleman, and a hard-nose stickler for good manners. He also suffers from PTSD after losing his best friend in Afghanistan. Plagued by nightmares, Rick’s main goal in life is to keep everyone and everything he cares for safely out of harm’s way. When he agreed to help the Delaneys save their camp, he didn’t count on going nose-to-nose with their daughter on every decision, nor did he realize that her special type of “fairy princess magic” could bring even a hardened Marine to his knees.

Was it love at first sight for your characters? If not what was the pivotal moment of change?

For Rick and Summer, there was no love at first sight although attraction at first sight was certainly present. The moment of change for them comes during their first real chat when they realize that both of them have the best interest of the children and the camp at heart.

If your characters could go back in time and change one thing what would it be? Why?

Summer’s flighty nature convinced her to change majors several (okay, many) times, while supported by her parents. She’s plagued by the guilt that her dad’s heart problems were fueled in part by the stress she placed on him financially. If she could go back and change one thing, it would be to decide early on a major in college and stick with it to completion.
Rick’s PTSD and his driving force to save everyone and everything he cares about stem from his best friend’s death while they were serving together in Afghanistan. If he could go back and change one thing, he would go back to the day Dunk died and save his friend.

What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?

I loved writing the first scene where Rick and Summer meet. It was a challenge to get not only the attraction but also the conflict in personalities in a short space of time. But I think it worked well. Here’s a bit of it to see if you agree.

Rick’s gaze followed the dog. He blinked. Hell-pee-roo! A fairy had appeared through the wooden gate. He blinked again. Not a fairy, but a girl — maybe a tiny woman? — dressed in a fairy costume, complete with a long, full pink dress, a sparkling crown, and wings.
“Stop it, Peewee.” The high female voice admonished the dog, who was springing up and down like he was attached to a pogo stick. “You’re going to get me dirty. Stop it!”
The dog paid no heed to the command.
The fairy stooped down and sat her bag on the ground. It fell over, startling the dog who yelped and jumped back a few feet. Then, with lightning speed, he darted to the bag, grabbed something, and took off around the pool.
“Damn it, Peewee,” the fairy shrieked. “Give me back my wand.”
Rick walked over to the door and stepped outside, waiting until the dog came around the shallow end and headed his direction, then he moved directly into the dog’s path. “Peewee! Halt!” he bellowed.
The stunned dog dropped the stick and let out a yelp like he’d been kicked. He darted past Rick and launched himself into the arms of the fairy, who Rick could tell was most definitely a young woman now that he had a closer look. He picked up the stick lying at his feet.
“Oh, poor baby,” the fairy cooed, moving in Rick’s direction. “It’s okay. Calm down now.” As she neared, the dog shrank deeper under her arm, whimpering and trembling violently, and pushing her cleavage into a splendid presentation within the round neck of her gown. “Thanks.” She smiled with gratitude as she took the stick and held it for the dog to sniff. “But you nearly scared him to death.”
“Dogs, kids, and Marines — you have to let them know who’s in charge.”
The fairy’s chin rose a fraction. “And who’s in charge is determined by who yells the loudest?” Her smile wavered and then vanished completely.

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

The hardest scene to write was one where Rick returns a phone call from his dad. Rick knows his father loves him, but they have a strained relationship. Trying to get into the heads of both characters at the same time and write that conversation took quite a while. Here’s a bit of it so you can get the feel:

His dad gave a grunt of disapproval. “That is unfortunate, indeed. But you’ve lived through worse.”
“Yes, sir. That I have.” Rick paused. Not one for idle chit-chat — or idle anything — his dad wouldn’t have called for no reason. Rick was relatively sure he knew what it was.
“How are the nightmares?”
Yep, there it was. The inevitable discussion about his post-traumatic stress disorder that always left him feeling like he had a hideous flaw in his character. “Not nearly as aggravating as the girls’ counselor I’m having to work with,” Rick answered. “Who happens to be the owners’ daughter,” he added in an effort to redirect the conversation.
“Yes, your mother said something about that.” His dad cleared his throat, the signal he really wasn’t interested and was getting down to the important business that warranted the call. “But I didn’t call to talk about trivial matters. I mentioned your continuing bouts with PTSD to Vance Leighton at the club last night. He told me about a therapy he’s had quite good success with. It’s called — do you have a pen to write this down?”
“Yes, sir.” Rick walked over to the folder he’d dropped on the couch and flipped it open.
“It’s called EMDR. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. I’ve been reading about it on the Internet, and I’m very impressed with the results I’m seeing. I want you to look into it. Paducah has a Dr. Enlow who’s trained in it.”
“I’ve got my hands pretty full right now, sir.”
“Bullshit. Twenty kids and a feisty woman does not add up to full hands. Get your priorities straight.”

How did your character spend the week just before the story starts?

Rick was the Deputy Director for the Western Kentucky Department of Wildlife, but his office closed because of budget cuts. The week before the story starts, he had way too much time on his hands and way too much beer in the fridge.
Summer was very busy with her Fairy Princess Party business. She made all of the refreshments, using only organic ingredients, for the parties that were booked for that week. She also had to plan all the age-appropriate games and prizes for the children who would be attending.

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?

Channing Tatum would be perfect in the role of Rick Warren with Reese Witherspoon as Summer Delaney.

What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2013 into 2014?

I’m currently working on my fourth Harlequin SuperRomance, which has the working title ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE. No release date has been set yet, but it will probably be late 2014.
My third Harlequin Super, MOONLIGHT IN PARIS, releases February 4, 2014. Its heroine, Tara O’Malley, is a secondary character in THE SUMMER PLACE, so readers will already be familiar with her. She was such a fun character to write, with lots of depth and wit about her. I’m thrilled to be able to write Tara a story all her own!

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

Giveaway: A signed copy of THE SUMMER PLACE along with a set of my book cover wine charms.

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: The setting for THE SUMMER PLACE is a kids’ summer camp on Kentucky Lake. Did you ever attend summer camp as a kid? If so, what is your favorite memory of the eperience? If not, what was your favorite summer activity as a child?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Just so I don’t leave you with the idea that Summer and Rick are always arguing, here’s the excerpt that contains their first kiss.
She thought back through the day, to Rick’s acts of selfless behavior. That she’d been wrong about him was obvious. She had a lot of making up to do and wasn’t even sure where to start.
A knock on her door startled her.
Please don’t be anybody needing anything else done tonight. She swung it open.
Rick met her startled gaze.
Without a word, he stepped into her and swept her into his arms. His mouth closed down on hers, which was already open, and she found she hadn’t the slightest desire to close it. Instead, she brushed her tongue softly against his in invitation, feeling his muffled groan as he tightened his arms around her. Her arm slid across his shoulder and her fingers played in the hair at the nape of his neck.
His lips pressed firmly as his tongue swept into her mouth, releasing a need deep within her, making her breathing erratic.
His tongue retreated and his lips closed slowly, guiding hers closed as his hands glided from her back to cup the sides of her face. He placed two or three soft kisses on her still-puckered lips and then stepped back, leaving her in a blissfully dazed stupor.
“Good night,” he whispered before he disappeared into the darkness.
Summer stood watching for a few seconds, willing him to come back for a repeat performance.
When it was clear he was really gone, she closed the door and leaned heavily against it.
“Oh my!” Her chest heaved in a contented sigh.

Book Info:

Can They Both Be Right?
Summer Delaney has turned over a new leaf. Now she’s ready to step up and run her parents’ Kentucky camp—the place she loves most in the world. Too bad her parents aren’t convinced of her dedication. In fact, they’ve hired someone else—someone with very conflicting ideas about how the camp should operate!
A former marine, Rick Warren’s approach is all about following orders. From the outset, it’s clear that they don’t see eye to eye. But there’s an unexpected effect from all that clashing of wills. The heat of debate turns to steamy attraction—one they simply can’t resist. Still, with the camp’s future hanging in the balance, Summer must prove she’s changed and can work with Rick to create a place kids will love—and a place where their love might have a chance….

Book Links:

Author Bio

Pamela Hearon achieved the impossible when she met the love of her life on a blind date. She had one child; he had two. They lived in different states, an hour-and-a-half apart. He loved dogs; she had a cat. But somehow she knew almost immediately he was The One. She had beat the odds at Romance Roulette.
This twist of fate opened Pamela’s eyes to a world of fun, romantic stories daring to be told. She accepted the challenge and became a storyteller, a matchmaker uniting those couples who are destined to be together despite the seemingly impossible odds stacked against them. She does it with a voice an editor once described as “compellingly quirky”—a description Pamela loves. Her Kentucky accent adds flavor to her writing that smacks of sweet tea, mint juleps, chess pie, and all things Southern.
In true romance fashion, Pamela’s own story sports a “happily ever after.” Two years after their first meeting, she married her blind date. Now, more than a quarter of a century and several cats later, they’re still together—still defying the odds.

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91 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The Summer Place by Pamela Hearon”

  1. DJ Sakata

    My super religous mother always sent me to a church camp and it was awful, lots of bible readings, bible classes, church services morning, noon, and night. Strict dress code, dull…

  2. Janice Unger

    I did go to church summer camp one time with my best friend. I loved the hikes, swimming, catching crayfish, and just being around kids my age. It was one of my best experiences as a kid.

    • Pamela Hearon

      Hmmm, Janice, the internet seems to have swallowed up my comment to you. Your experience sounds wonderful. My youngest daughter agrees that summer camp was one of her favorite childhood experiences–and she continued going until she was 16!

  3. Crystal Young

    I never attend camp, but we would to my Grandma farm and spend time, we had a garden and she had a huge hill we would play on, pick pear and have bom fires. The only thing we did care for was the fact that we had to use the outhouse but we always had a lot of fun.

    • Pamela Hearon

      LOL! Crystal, you brought back memories for me. My great-grandmother had an outhouse, and I was TERRIFIED of it, but the rest of your experience sound like a kid’s dream!

  4. Margaret

    I remember attending Girl Scout camp – but I never really liked it so I only went for a week one summer. I did like the arts & crafts, I remember making many macramé plant holders!

  5. Diane Sallans

    I went to Girl Scout day camp for several years and to sleep-away one year – kept me busy and out of other trouble!

  6. Gretchen

    We used to spend a lot of time in the summer at my neighbor’s cottage on the lake. There were tons of kids there all ages and so many things to do. We would always enter the pontoon boat in the 4th of July Parade around the lake and decorate it. It was so much fun!

    • Pamela Hearon

      Ah, Gretchen, you touch the heart of my memories! Days spent on Kentucky Lake are some of my very favorite childhood memories! And I had forgotten the year we entered the pontoon 4th of July parade. Thanks for jarring loose that wonderful memory!

    • Pamela Hearon

      And those activities, Debi, are things I’ll bet you still enjoy! I’m not very artsy, but I love to try my hand at crafts. I’ve done some glass painting lately. Nice way to relax–but not as many calories burned as swimming 🙂

  7. SnarkyMom

    I went to Girl Scout camp & remember being MORTIFIED by having to stand, naked, in the shower so they could peel ticks off of me.

    • Pamela Hearon

      Sooooo, SnarkyMom, have I now had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of the inspiration for Brad Paisley’s song??? 🙂 Actually, I empathize with you. That experience would have mortified me even more than the outhouse mentioned earlier!

  8. Cindy Hutcheson

    I had a neat experience at church camp every year. After we passed a certain tree on the way to the campfire each night, we were told not to talk until we passed the tree returning to our cabins. Silence can be very powerful!

    • Pamela Hearon

      You’re so right, Cindy! I like to write in total silence. Oh, I can write if there is noise, but I much prefer the silence when I can hear my thoughts. Sounds like you learned the power at an early age, too. Good for you!

  9. Ann

    I never attended summer camp. =(

    But, I was able to spend a lot of time with my cousins and grandparents in the summer when I was little. It was so fun! No school and just playing outside~

    • Pamela Hearon

      I’m an outdoor person, too, Ann. Playing outside with the kids in my neighborhood was the best. We live in a small town, so my children got to have the same experience. And my grandkids are still catching lightning bugs in jars. I love it!

  10. Rita Wray

    I never attended summer camp but I had fun with the other kids playing outside all day.

    • Pamela Hearon

      We used to go outside in the morning, Rita, and stay outside all day, often eating lunch on the picnic table in the back yard. If we had to go in for dinner, we fussed, so afraid we’d miss some of the fun.

    • Pamela Hearon

      I was never in 4H, Casie. But I taught school for many years, and the 4H kids were some of the most mannerly, well-behaved kids I had. I always thought there was something very special about that organization that it could have such a profound effect on children. Lucky you to have been a part of it!

  11. holdenj

    The only camp I went to was Girl Scout camp. I remember one of my friends with really long hair had a tick, and how worried we were when they leader used a match to get it off!

    • Pamela Hearon

      ACK! Holdenj, that could have been a disaster! I’ve heard of the match method, but have never tried it. I have long hair, too, and I much prefer the pull-with-tweezers-and-hope-the-head-comes-out method 🙂

  12. Emily B.

    I went to camp with girl scouts one summer and that was the only time I was ever able to go to summer camp and I loved it. I got to hang out with all of my friends and made a lot of new and just had a blast.

  13. Leanna

    I never went to summer camp. I always dreamed of going. It looked so fun in the movies. I know my favorite activity eould be swimming or making smores.

  14. Sandie W

    Nope, I never went to summer camp. In my home town (many years ago) the parks and recreaction used to hold day camps at the local parks. We would go to the park and play and do different crafts every day during the summers. It was always something I looked forward to.

    • Pamela Hearon

      We had local day camps, too, Sandi! I hadn’t thought of those in years! They were usually held on the school playgrounds. Loved them! Thanks for the reminder!

  15. Cari White

    I don’t have good memories of when I went to summer camp… Only one time and it rained the whole time. I cried everyday.

    My kids have gone to church camp a lot and loved it.

    • Pamela Hearon

      Aw, Cari, so sorry! You’re comment reminds me of an old song by Allen Sherman. It was called “Hello Muddah, Hello, Faddah (A Letter from Camp). If you’re too young to remember it, look it up on YouTube. I think it might make you smile 🙂

  16. Kim Pinch

    I went to sports camp every summer. Apart from the power skating at 7 am, it was a lot of fun.

    • Pamela Hearon

      My youngest grandson would be thrilled to go to sports camp every summer, Kim. Though I wouldn’t have enjoyed power skating at 7 am, I think I would have enjoyed it, too!

    • Pamela Hearon

      My grandson would be in hog heaven if he could go to sports camp, Kim. I think I would have enjoyed it, too–all but the power skating at 7 am thing.

  17. We're Jumpin' Books

    The only “camp” I attended was band camp. My memories seem to be exhaustion, heat, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4 hahaha!!

  18. Glenda M

    I always went to a church related camp. First for a group called Campfire Girls ( a more religious version of Girl Scouts) and after moving to a different state a generic co-ed church camp — neither one was a serious Bible Thumping camp. One year at the co-ed camp, I wanted to take canoeing as one of my ‘classes’. The counselors tried very hard to convince me that I wanted to take an arts and crafts type class instead. I insisted and had canoeing, water-skiing, and one arts and crafts class. I was the only girl in the canoeing class, and all the guys were younger than me, but it was tons of fun. I never have figured out why water-skiing was ok for girls, but not canoeing.

    • Pamela Hearon

      That’s interesting, Glenda. Maybe they thought a girl couldn’t operate a paddle? ^shrug^ Glad you stood up for what you wanted. I’ll bet you had a much better time than the other girls!

  19. Jenn McElroy

    No, didn’t go to summer camp as a child. I did, however, enjoy summers in the backyard pool and riding my bike around the neighborhood. Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  20. Claira Pam

    I never went to summer camp, but I enjoyed playing outside – exploring, riding my bike, making daisy chains!

    • Pamela Hearon

      And clover necklaces, Claira Pam! I spent many hours sitting on the hill in our front yard, designing my own rings, bracelets, and necklaces. And I still love to ride my bike. When I’m on it, the years melt away–well, some of them anyway 🙂

    • Pamela Hearon

      We had a summer reading program at our library, Carolyn, though I didn’t get to go very often. I’ve always been a reader, but in the summer, it was usually done outside under a tree.

  21. Marcy Shuler

    I went to a church summer camp and my favorite part was singing around the campfire each night. It was a lot of fun and religion wasn’t forced down your throat. I have very good memories.

    • Pamela Hearon

      I got to be a camp counselor at a church camp for several years, Marcy. I enjoyed it very much. The kids were fun, and we tried hard not to make it a heavy experience for them. I hope their memories of it are like yours.

  22. Justine

    I liked the diversity of outdoor activities at summer camp. I was such an indoor child the rest of the year that summer had such a feeling of freedom.

    • Pamela Hearon

      Freedom is precisely the word that summer evokes for me, too, Justine. I still get that giddy feeling in May when I know summer is approaching. Hmmm, that maybe why I chose this subject for the book–along with the heroine’s name 😉

  23. dragon20077

    Haven’t been to a summer camp before; went to a private summer school but it was fun creating memories with classmates and teachers whether we are going to see them during the school year; other than that, read books

  24. KateS

    Day camps and week long camps via the Girl Scouts… always had a blast and met some great role models… Did you know that there are some summer camps for adults!???

    • Pamela Hearon

      I didn’t know that, Kate! My husband and I have a small house in a small resort in Florida where we go for the winter. I always say it’s like summer camp for adults. Maybe I should check out the ones you mentioned!

  25. celiaboop

    Ah summer camps…did my share having grown up in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Best memory was of camp counselor telling tales of the Jersey Devil by the campfire!

    • Pamela Hearon

      Celia! So happy to see your here! A campfire doesn’t meet its full potential until the ghost stories have been shared around it. Well, that and eating smores while listening to them. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Pamela Hearon

      Thanks so much, Barbara! I loved working with these two. They were so different–and so vivid in my mind. When they finally got together, even I breathed a sigh of relief! 🙂

  26. Lori P

    I went to camp between my Jr and Sr years of high school. My favorite memory while there was having my very first date with my hubby at camp. At the end of the week there was a banquet held to celebrate a great week and going home. He asked me to go as his date 🙂

    • Pamela Hearon

      Oh, Lori, wow! I love how-we-met-stories, and to have one show up here that happened at summer camp is extra special! Thank you so much for sharing your very own summer romance with us!

  27. Kai W.

    I went to camping once. I would love to go again but my family isn’t into nature. Best thing I love is horseback riding. It is the only time I can ride a horse even though it was just once in my lifetime so far.

    • Pamela Hearon

      Hold onto the dream, Kai. My hubby wasn’t much into camping either, but little-by-little, he’s come around. I have a feeling you have more horseback rides in your future.

    • Pamela Hearon

      Oh … so sorry about the health issues. But I’m glad you found your happiness through reading. It truly can give us any experience we want and take us to places we might never get to go otherwise.

  28. Aline

    I’ve never attend summer camp as a kid. I don’t even sure we have one here LOL I usually spend it with my family or just reading and watching movies..

    • Pamela Hearon

      Awww, Aline, you need to come visit me! Spending time with family is one of my favorite activities, too. And, of course, my reward for hard work is to give myself reading time.

  29. Sue G.

    I never attended summer camp but my favorite summer activity was playing softball. Kept playing until I was 35!

    • Pamela Hearon

      How fun that must have been, Sue. I played a lot of softball with the boys in my neighborhood ( I was quite the tomboy). We played in the street. And when the ball would go down the sewer, it might be weeks before we could get another one, so we’d have to switch to croquet or badminton for a while. Not nearly as much fun 🙁

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